Doctor Who and the major arcana: The Lovers

“there’s a lot of things you need to get across this universe. warp drive… wormhole refractors… you know the thing you need most of all? you need a hand to hold.”

It’s a new year, a Hierophant year. Happy new year to you all!

We’re now six cards in to #22DoctorWhoTarotQuotes, our voyage through the tarot cards, linking up wisdom gleaned from Doctor Who quotes with each card of the major arcana.

If you subscribe the major arcana as the Fool’s Journey, the Lovers represents the spot where the Fool takes the what they learned from family (parental figures of the Emperor and Empress) and structured education and community (the Hierophant) and moves off to begin their own life. The Lovers represents on the surface romantic love and life partnership, but it also has a traditional meaning of choice: the Fool comes to a place where they must choose between the family that raised them and beginning a new family.

You can see a shadow of this choice in the appearance of most of the companions in the “new” Doctor Who (Doctors 9 through 13) where a companion must choose between an exciting new adventure with the Doctor, or the structures and traditions of the life they’ve always known.

Of course, there’s plenty of romantic love in Doctor Who, too. This collage from BBC America for Valentine’s Day in 2018 shows just a few of the iconic couples that have been featured over the years.

Image courtesy of @BBCDoctorWho on Twitter

For the purposes of today’s quote from Doctor Who, I’ve chosen to go with the romantic love and partnership aspect of The Lovers, and this quote from David Tennant’s 10th Doctor from the episode Fear Her: “There’s a lot of things you need to get across this universe. Warp drive… wormhole refractors… You know the thing you need most of all? You need a hand to hold.”

I listen to the Doctor Who podcast Verity quite a bit (highly recommended if you’re a Whovian) and in a recent episode they were discussing whether any hanky-panky takes place in the TARDIS. Opinions were starkly divided – some of the hosts said absolutely and some said absolutely not. One thing I really appreciate about Doctor Who is how it covers the wide range of loving relationships, from straight and gay and cross-species romance to family relationships and the often quirky relationships the Doctor has with their companions. Contrast the sparks of sexual energy between Rose and Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor to the filial love of the Thirteenth Doctor for her “fam”. (I’m still learning to be conversant in classic Who, but I’m working on it!) There’s a lot of love to love. 🙂

As always, I’d love to hear what you think about how I’ve connected the major arcana to this quote from series, and whether you’re enjoying this project. Next stop is the Chariot!

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